Sunday, November 11, 2018

Draconian Cylix IV report by Carl

Last Sunday was a big day for the Old school community with the Old school tournament at Eternal Weekend, but there also was a Dutch tournament: Draconian Cylix IV. Having enjoyed the previous installment, I brought Antoine with me this time. After an uneventful ride from Brussels (Belgium) to Eindhoven, we registered the same 75 cards: Temple of Sped, with a modified sideboard:

4 Disenchant
4 Order of Leitbur
4 Savannah Lions
2 Serra Angel
3 Swords to Plowshares

1 Fireball
4 Lightning Bolt

1 Demonic Tutor
1 Mind Twist

1 Ancestral Recall
1 Braingeyser
3 Power Sink
3 Serendib Efreet
1 Time Walk

1 Chaos Orb

1 Black Lotus
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Pearl
1 Mox Ruby
1 Mox Sapphire
1 Sol Ring

4 City of Brass
1 Library of Alexandria
3 Mishra's Factory
2 Plains
4 Plateau
1 Strip Mine
4 Tundra
1 Underground Sea

2 Armageddon
2 Circle of Protection: Red
2 Control Magic
2 Earthquake
3 Energy Flux
3 Red Elemental Blast
1 Swords to Plowshares

As you can see, only 1 Strip Mine is allowed, we play with the Bazaar of Moxen rules, meaning mana burn is alive, life total checked at the end of the phase (aka Mirror Universe kill, can also be useful when playing Lich) and tapped blocking creatures don't deal damage (i.e. Mishra's Factory).

The 3 Strip Mine from the original (EC) deck have been replaced by 2 Plains (vs Blood Moon) and a Serra Angel (best creature ever).

We are 14 players fighting for the Cylix today. On to the report.

Round 1: Bjorn - Randy's 5C Tax-Edge
Last time I played Bjorn already, he was with Deadguy Ale. This time it is another great deck: Randy Buelher's Land Tax-Land's Edge.
I open with a Library of Alexandria, always a great start. Bjorn has to be proactive, and he is: Mox Emerald, Mountain, Winds of Change (so I initially think he is on Underworld Dreams), Mox Jet and Sylvan Library. I play Plateau and Savannah Lions. Bjorn plays Mox Pearl and Land Tax, meaning he will be able to tax next turn. I disenchant the Land Tax, but he has another one. He plows my first Serendib Efreet, balances away the second one. He gets Ivory Tower in play, and after I manage to get him to 4, he gets back to 22, starts drawing extra cards, assembles the combo and kills me in one turn by discarding 10 lands to Land's Edge.
Game 2 I get Library turn one again and put some pressure, he plays a Blood Moon that I disenchant after some time, then I play Energy Flux. Bjorn answers with a second Blood Moon, which I disenchant again. I mind twist his hand away, but he manages to play The Abyss, getting rid of Savannah Lions. Fortunately, Orders are abyss-proof and the pounding starts. Bjorn plays a Wrath of God, I play a second Order. Bjorn attempts a second Wrath of God at one life, and I kill him with a Power Sink (tapped his City of Brass).
We have no time to complete the third game.
1-1, 1 point.

Round 2: Wouter Jansen - R/W/g Tax-Edge
Well, there seems to be a pattern. Wouter's deck is unpowered, so he cannot do broken things like Bjorn. Except for Balance, he also doesn't play mass removal (no Wrath of God, Earthquake, Moat).
I start game 1 with an Ancestral Recall at the end of his first turn, then play an Order that he bolts. Wouter plays Wheel of Fortune, I get out some creatures while he manages to deals with some of them (REB on a Serendib Efreet, bolt on Lions). Still, his life is dwlindling and I take the game.
2-0, 4 points.

Round 3: Wouter - Monoblue Stasis
Another Wouter, another deck without Power nine.
Wouter starts with Black Vise, I play Land, Mox, Lions. He plays a turn 2 Howling Mine, I play an Order. He gets a second Vise out, I disenchant the Howling Mine. He plays Stasis with one untapped Island which meets my Strip Mine. I then tutor for a Time Walk to hit him again and finish him off with a Fireball.
I have a hand with Serra Angel, Mox, and Demonic Tutor. I get a turn 1 Lotus to play a second turn Serra Angel, while Wouter plays a Black Vise, a Howling Mine and a couple of Fellwar Stones. He tries to Boomerang the Angel, but I have a REB for it. He plays Maze of Ith, but Strip Mine takes care of the bugger. Wouter cannot stop the best creature of Magic.
2-0, 7 points.

Round 4: Antoine - Temple of Sped
I get a good hand with Library and a Mox, but no other mana source. Antoine has a turn one Sol Ring, turn 2 Demonic Tutor. I think he took Mind Twist, so I disenchant his Sol Ring but he strips my Library away. I don't draw enough lands to empty my hand, Antoine pounds me with a Serendib Efreet and 2 Mishra's Factories while playing Ancestral Recall and Time Walk, followed by a Geyser for 6 cards...
I keep a one-land hand (with Sol Ring) and play a second turn Efreet which is blasted away. Antoine plays an Order and 2 factories, I mind twist a Serra Angel and a Control Magic, miss my Chaos Orb flip of a Factory. I control magic his Order, he REBs, I cast Earthquake for one to stabilize at one life, but Antoine has an Earthquake of his own to take the match.
0-2, 7 points.

Antoine is first of the swiss rounds with a perfect 4-0 score, I squeeze in as 4th seed as we were only 14 players. This means that there is a rematch.

Semi-finals: Antoine - Temple of Sped
In the first game, Antoine destroys my Efreet with Chaos Orb, then he plows my Factory (holding a Disenchant, this was probably a mistake). Since he has no red mana open, I play a Order and Time Walk, hitting him for 3 in the extra turn. He bots the Order, we both drop a Serendib Efreet that chip at our life total. I have direct damage to take the game.
Game 2, I play a Serendib Efreet that Antoine plows, I manage to get a Serra Angel out and Power Sink his.

Finals: Marten Buehler - G/W/U midrange
Marten plays a deck that looks a lot like the one played by Joep Meddens won Giant Frost 2 with a few weeks ago: Erhnam Djinn, Serra Angel, Elves, Pixies, Icy Manipulator and white removal. I didn't see any Armageddon, but I suppose he played them.
Marten has a Swords to Plowshares for my Serendib Efreet after I hit him once. We trade some blows, then he plays a Serra Angel that I have to double bolt. A second Angel goes all the way, as I don't draw any Swords to Plowshares.
Game 2 doesn't look good as Marten plays a turn 1 Library of Alexandria and has a Swords to Plowshares for my turn 1 Serendib Efreet. He regrowths the plow to get rid of an Order I played turn 3, his Strip Mine hits my Factory. I get rid of his Library after he has drawn 5 or 6 extra cards. I manage a Geyser for 5 to even things out. But Marten plays 2 Maze of Ith, an Erhnam Djinn and a Serra Angel. Fortunately, I am able to control magic both of them (and Marten has sideboarded out all his Disenchant). An Order joins the team and I can finally hit him. He doesn't manage to mount a defense, and I take this gruelling game.
Game 3, I play a second turn Serendib Efreet, but Marten has a Plowshares. I play a second Serendib Efreet, play Power Sink on his Serra Angel, attack and Time Walk, then Armageddon to seal the game.

I am happy to finally beat Marten and can hold the cup (well... the cylix :-)
Temple of Sped is as great as Bryan Manolakos claims in his Eternal weekend 2017 report: not counting mirror matches, Antoine and I didn't lose a match. Moreover, I think that one Strip Mine benefits the deck compared to four. The modified sideboard to fight The Deck worked well against other decks (nobody played The Deck at the tournament). Thanks to Bjorn and Arno for another great event, and to Antoine for the ride and chat over the deck.